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Marks or methylation patterns left on genes by smart foods

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Can the average consumer afford to find out what to eat, what the best nutrition might be, for improved health and nourishment based upon tests of genetic expression? Can consumers override any inherited risks revealed in the genetic signature with foods and nutraceuticals individually tailored? What does it mean to eat ‘smarter’ foods that target specific genes compared to eating more intelligently regarding choice?

The USA is fast becoming the nation's foremost place to rewire your taste buds with smart foods. The sciences of nutrigenomics and epigenetics--as applied to nutrition--are still in their infancy, but progress is being made in nutrigenomics at UC Davis. See the UC Davis site, Nutritional Genomics. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Your lifestyle, the food you eat, and where you live and work can all affect how you respond to medicines." You even can 'rewire' your taste buds to particular types of food.

Scientists compare genetic distances between populations by comparing the frequencies of forms of genes called ‘alleles.’ Mutant alleles can be mapped as population genetics markers. Some, but not all mutations in genes may put you at risk for certain chronic diseases if you eat the wrong foods for your genotype. The solution is to eat more ‘intelligent’ foods customized to your individual genetic profile.

Research also looks at rare alleles

Alleles are the different types of genetic material that code for a specific protein - or gene. Their rarity gives them special power as markers of genetic similarity. There’s a good chance two identical mutant alleles share a common origin. You can map genes for ancestral origin, migrations, or to reveal risks of disease depending upon which genes you map.

Are you hounded by your dogged determination to kill the cat in you with designer foods or your own home-grown eats? Then think about wolfing down wild foods -- but only if you're an expert on which foods are smart enough. Nutrition is about your individual health response at the cellular, metabolic, and genetic levels to a particular food, medicine, or skin/hair care product.

How do you as a consumer, not a scientist, choose the smartest food tailored to your genetic signature? How do you interpret your DNA test results for ancestry or family history?

How smart foods relate to nutrition for all ages

How do you make more intelligent choices of food to nourish your child's individual genotype? What is meant by intelligent foods that target and nourish specific genes? How are you using food and the numerous areas of nutrition to manage your child's genetic and metabolic signature? In what direction are you moving--for example, eating to nourish and protect the health of your family at the atomic, chemical, molecular, cellular, and genetic levels?

Clinical dieticians and nutritionists, by allying with molecular geneticists, genetics counselors, physicians, molecular genealogists, family historians, phenomics professionals, nutritional and medical anthropologists, and archaeogeneticists are collaborating with consumers of genetics testing, but what are they really sharing?

If not so much raw materials such as DNA from donors, is shared, then how about access to information—databases and various discussion forums online and e-mailing lists equally open to consumers, licensed healthcare providers, and research scientists? Who controls access to new research—the consumers, the corporations, or the scientists?

What is the link between tailoring your foods to your genetic expression and tracing your ancestry though DNA testing?

And what genes are tested for either reason? How do you bridge the gap between nutritional genomics profiling and testing DNA for deep ancestral origins? Does ethnicity play any role in tailoring your food and nutraceuticals, drug dosages, or healthcare? How much can the average consumer self-educate and/or start a private DNA bank for a consumer or patient group?

How do you raise funds, contract with research scientists, and form or serve groups needing their DNA researched for specific reasons? How does learning how to interpret the results of your DNA tests for ancestry relate to understanding genetic tests for cardiovascular or other inheritable risks?

Start researching on your own what you need to know as a consumer to have more choices in customizing foods for your genetic signature—your genotype. What are some realistic applications of genetic testing and profiling?

How do you nourish your body? What can your genes reveal to you through genetic testing and profiling? It’s your private information and should remain private. A good place to release it finally would be in a time capsule and history scrapbook for your heirs. Here are how some branches of human genetic history are linked to your nutrition, ancestry, and most of all nourishment.

Prosopography is all about human history and genes that travel because your genes have both a cultural and a biological component

The cultural component includes onomastics which is the study of the origin of a name and its geographical and historical utilization. Proteomics is about drug discovery. Pharmacogenetics researches how your genes respond to various drugs and dosages to avoid adverse reactions to medicines. Nutrigenomics (nutritional genomics) brings together nutrition and genetics.

Put all these branches of molecular genetics together with molecular genealogy. Add nutritional genomics—molecular nutrition, and what do you have? Knowledge of how every molecule in your body responds to certain foods, lifestyles or exercise can now be studied at the molecular level.

Pharmacogenetics tells you more about tailoring your medicines and cosmetics to your possible genetic response to them

New sciences such as pharmacogenetics open doors to learning how your genes respond to nutrition and nourishment. Maybe you want to know how your body responds to certain herbs, nutraceuticals (supplements), foods, or any chemical in your environment, even a skin lubricant or salve or a cosmetic.

It’s all within the sciences of pharmacogenetics and/or nutrigenomics. Today, it’s not just about how your body responds. You look at the molecular level, the cellular level to study how your genes respond to nourishment, medicine, lifestyle, and the environment.

What if you take many prescription drugs and want to know how rapidly or slowly your body is metabolizing the medicine? You are concerned about the drugs building up in your body or interacting with one another. Pharmacogenetics tests several of your genes.

With food menus, nutrigenomics tests other genes

At least you can find out whether you metabolize fast, slow, or like the majority of people. One size will never fit all people because genes recombine. They shuffle, and individuals have different responses to different drugs, cosmetics, or foods.

Multidisciplinary nutrition research and collaboration is necessary for nutritional genomics to bring together diverse expertise. Scientists working in the disciplines of nutrition, biochemistry, and genetics need to share, collaborate, and interface in this field.

If scientists are more concerned about positioning themselves first in publishing their research and won’t share DNA with all scientists, how can research ever move forward?

You might want to read “The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disorders,” 6th ed. McGraw-Hill, New York: 2649-2680, 1989. Then compare the latest research in nutritional genomics on how smart foods (foods tailored to your genetic signature) influence risk of chronic disease. The longer science studies the entire genome (rather than the specific SNPs for certain chronic diseases) the more information will be forthcoming on how food and lifestyle influence your health based on the genes you inherited.

Another key factor is your DNA, which contains your genes. Scientists are trying to figure out how the make-up of your DNA can contribute to the way you respond to medicines, including pain-killers with codeine like Tylenol®#3, antidepressants like Prozac®, and many blood pressure and asthma medicines.

Scientific discoveries made through this genomic studies type of research will provide information to guide doctors in prescribing the right amount of the right medicine for you say the researchers. According to its website, "The National Institutes of Health aims to improve the health of all Americans through medical research that solves mysteries about how the human body normally works—and how and why it doesn’t work, when disease occurs. One goal of this research is to help improve the good effects of medicines while preventing bad reactions.”

Click on the National Institutes of Health to see their question and answer site. The point is that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to medicine or food or even cosmetics and skin products. According to the National Institutes of Health, here is the National Institutes of Health’s answer to the question of “Aren’t prescribed medicines already safe and effective?”

On their question and answer page, they reply, “For the most part, yes. But medicines are not 'one-size-fits-all.' While typical doses work pretty well for most people, some medicines don’t work at all in certain people or the medicines can cause annoying, or even life-threatening, side effects.”

If you’re wondering why one size doesn’t fit all since our DNA is supposed to be so similar world-wide, it really varies due to some people’s genetic variations, diversity, and mutations. According to the National Institutes of Health (reprinted here with permission) from their Web site, “As medicines move through the body, they interact with thousands of molecules called proteins. Because each person is genetically unique, we all have tiny differences in these proteins, which can affect the way medicines do their jobs.”

Scientists are moving along in studying how you can tailor foods to genetic signatures

Are there any Sacramento naturopaths and/or homeopaths, physicians, nurses, and nutritionists following diet books that research the relationship between your genetic type or traits, your blood type, finger prints, torso, leg, and waist-to-hip length or ratio as related to diet and nutrition?

Which health care experts are following the metabolic type diet books, and which are following the genetic traits and blood type diet recommendations and publications? Check out the field of metabolic and genetic dietetics. See the site, Genetic Metabolic Dietitians International.

Diets based on metabolic and genetic traits

If you practice in Sacramento, which do you think works best with your patients, diets based on metabolic traits or genetic traits such as fingerprint arches, circles, or whorls, torso or leg length or measurements of your jaw--whether it's square or pointed or various anatomy traits?

Do naturpaths in Sacramento suggest different diets for body types, fingerprint arches or whorls, 'O' blood type than for type A, B, or AB blood types? Why? Is it because type 'O' blood might be more efficient in handling animal fats than type A, which is more suited to vegetarian and fish diets, or AB blood diets that do well on Japanese-style diets? What are your sources of research?

Can what you eat alter your genes by switching epigenetic 'tags' on genes on or off?

Can you really change your destiny by altering your diet? Some Sacramento HMO's hand out specific low-sugar high protein diets for some metabolic syndrome patients. Do numerous Sacramento HMOs suggest diets based on metabolic syndrome symptoms or genetic traits? How far along is the science of nutrigenomics where you can tailor your foods and medicines to your genetic signature and expression?

If you study the books on metabolic diets, understand that your body is able to shed one or two pounds of body fat each week. You need to keep lean body mass and fluid stores. If you lose more than two pounds per week it means that body fluid and/or lean tissue is being taken out of your body.

Why some people gain more weight once a diet is stopped

That's not fat you lost. If you lose weight fast you'll gain it back even faster. It's a rebound effect to gain more once you stop your diet. That's why some people turn to books that may help them change their genetic destiny with nutrition. How do you separate the diet fads from the fad diets and get at the root of all the medical studies on genes, body shape, blood type, and nutrition?

According to the GenoType Diet book (change your genetic destiny to live the longest, fullest, and healthiest life possible) 2007, by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo with Catherine Whitney, you've received genes from ancestors that are the reactive inflammation-based, the thrifty metabolism-based, or the tolerant receptor-based. And what you eat influences your body type and genes.

Also see the official GenoType Diet web site. The site also has meal plans, recipes, bulletin boards, GenoType calculators, and various tools. The idea of the book is to live at your full genetic potential when it comes to what foods you eat.

Also some people, for example some of those called the Explorer Type in the book (including some of those with RH negative blood types) may have sluggish bone marrow function, "and struggle to keep up their white blood cell counts," according to section, "The Explorer Immune System Profile," on page 153 of the GenoType Diet book.

Grains with toxins and molds?

The book also mentions that many grains, nuts, seeds, and dairy products might contain toxins or molds that interfere with the proper detoxifications function in this explorer type. The diet recommended for this type minimizes exposure to pesticides and various other environmental toxins. Six types are discussed in the book. Besides the explorer type, also are named in the book the nomad, the teacher, the hunter, the gatherer, and the warrior.

Different blood types also can be categorized in the same body expression or genotype. There are six types named in the book. For example, nomads could be blood type B or AB and have different fingerprint patterns such as arches for type A or AB warriors and ulnar loops for type B or (also) AB nomads. Warriors also could be A or AB, depending upon other body measures such as length of limbs, fingerprint patterns, torso length compared to leg length, upper leg compared to lower leg size, and other measurements.

Explorers can be any blood type, especially RH negative. Hunters are always the original world-wide ancient cave person, blood type O, with O negative found at highest rates in the Basques. Warriors, the original farmers and agriculturists of the world, can be the thick-blooded A blood type, or the newest blood type, AB, formed when type A had children with blood type B. Type B blood originated at the foot of the Himalayas around 9,000 years ago and spread east and west from there.

Teachers can be type A or AB, for example. Nomads can be B or AB. Explorers can be any type, especially RH negative. It is about the blood type and other body measurements that correlate to the genotype or genetic expression/genetic signature as it plays out in the shape and measurements of the body's parts, limbs, and fingerprint patterns as well as response to how quickly or slowly the person metabolizes food and medicine, reacts to environmental toxins or molds, and other ways your liver, organs, lungs, white blood cells, and entire body, react to your environment, foods, foreign objects, and lifestyles.

It's not only the blood type that makes up your genetic expression or genotype

It also depends upon other body measurements and fingerprint patterns, which are mentioned in the book, with instructions on how to take these measurements so that a DNA test is not required. Gatherers can be blood type O or B. Some gatherer body type shapes mentioned in the book are Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Oprah Winfrey. The body types are further categorized into whether there is a relatively large space between the thighs or no space, that is whether the thighs are andric or genic.

People classified by ratios of some of their body parts

Working with food tailored to genetic expression classifies people by various body parts such as fingerprints, length of torso, length of upper or lower legs, strength-testing your genotype, and other specific measurements that relate to statistical correlations. Information also discusses statistical correlations of diseases later in life, for example to finger print patterns, the way your body puts on weight, response to infections, and how thin or thick your blood is, among numerous other correlations.

For example, your genes may have a metabolic basis to survival by conserving calories. For tens of thousands of years, your ancestral genes didn't know from where the next meal was coming. So your body responds metabolically, that is, your body responds to the idea of scarcity of food by slowing down your metabolism in the way your cells respond to stimulation.

The reactive genotype who responds by inflammation

Another type, which responds by inflammation, is the reactive genotype. Your immune system responds to the microbes in your environment with aggressive inflammation. You'll probably remember a childhood full of antibiotics. Too much friendly fire--over-reaction of your immune system could put you on the path to autoimmune diseases. It's a hair-trigger response to infection from viruses, bacteria, allergens, and autoimmune responses.

Think about how some women over-respond even to their husband's sperm, treating early pregnancy as an invasion by a foreign substance, or responding with a variety of their own illnesses to pregnancy. These people, such as blood type O, are geared to react and primed for physical activity.

A tolerant immune system, for example, as some blood types have, such as blood types AB or B, are adaptable, reminiscent of nomads of thousands of years ago that traveled through different environments. This type doesn't react very quickly to inflammation or microbes.

Instead it adapts as it responds to the environment by altering the binding sites (receptors) found on cells and tissues. These receptors are used by microbes to attach to tissues and organs. That's great for probiotics in the digestive track. So your body tries to get along with whatever the environment throws at you, adapting instead of defending.

Genotypes compared to blood types

Basically, the book goes through all the genotypes and the blood types. For example, Blood type O is more vulnerable to cholera and the plague. Blood type A is more vulnerable to smallpox. Blood type B is more vulnerable to a wide varieties of the flu, and type AB is more vulnerable to malaria.

Blood types also are correlated with levels of stomach acid. For example, blood type A and AB have less or weaker stomach acid than blood types O (which has the strongest stomach acid) and B, also with strong stomach acid for eating animal proteins. According to the book, type O needs a more carnivorous diet. It's the oldest blood type. Once, perhaps tens of thousands of years ago, the whole world was blood type O. Later, farmers developed high numbers of blood type A, more the vegetarian type.

Type B falls in between. For more information on the role of blood type in development of certain diseases, you might turn to the book, The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia. But more interesting is the fact that blood type O contains a certain enzyme that removes cholesterol from fatty meats from the bloodstream better.

When the more vegetarian blood type A (with weaker stomach acids) eats fatty meats, the thicker blood of A lacks that ancient enzyme that blood type O has more efficiently for thousands of years removed the cholesterol from the fatty meat. And what happens? Blood type A (and AB) get their arteries filled up with fat and calcium from eating diets high in long chain saturated fatty acids (fat from meat).

Slow acetylators

Other genotypes respond differently to caffeine, for example. Some people have a gene that makes them a slow acetylator. It's the chemical process by which your liver uses to detoxify any foreign substance coming into your body. It could be medicines, anesthesia, foods, beverages, you name it.

People with fast acetylator genes detoxify quickly. For example, these people can hold their liquor. They're not sensitive to those dental anesthesias, foods, and rarely get food poisoning or have intense reactions to cigarette smoke. On the other hand fast acetylators don't break down the carcinogens in cooked meats very well, raising the risk of colon cancer.

Slow acetylators are just that--slow to cleanse their bodies of foreign substances and unfamiliar foods or medicines. They get sick from one drink or can't stand the odor of wine. Medication makes them react quickly and badly, with side effects such as dizziness, nausea, panic, overstimulation, or sleepiness.

These people are the most likely to switch to a vegetarian diet, go without pills, and turn away from conventional medicines to natural and food-based solutions to problems. Look into your own and your families medical history for three generations and see how many were fast or slow acetylators.

How will your body respond to food at the cellular level?

Most important, from these books on genotype diets, metabolic types, blood types, and how your body responds at the cellular level (or molecular level) to foods and nutrition, is one main idea to ponder. If you have type O blood, for example, can you eat all the meat you want and realize there's a chemical in your blood that's removing the bad fats so they don't pile up in your arteries, but eating too many starches and grains will fill up your blood with fats, your arteries with calcium and fat, and your body with fat? Does science really know the answer the that question?

Or if you have blood type A, and eat too many fatty meats, will that thick, type A blood compared to the thin type O blood (with B and AB being in-between) throw clots, or give you hardening of the arteries faster (or even cancer) on a high-meat-fat- diet? But vegetables and fruits, a plant-based diet with some fish, work better to keep your arteries cleaner of fat and calcium build-up over the decades? Does science really know the answer to that question also. And where can you find out the facts to see whether your body really works in one way or the other?

Or if you have type B blood (or AB) is your main problem a lack of communication between your nervous system and your immune system? If you are blood type A, is your main problem your more viscous (thick) blood that by nature are more prone to degenerative changes such as heart disease, adult onset diabetes, and metabolic syndrome? Who can answer those questions with scientific studies? Where do you find out this information to check out what happens to blood type A compared to O or other types over the years and with what types of diets?

If you have blood type O, your reactive immune system produces inflammation quickly. This starts with the increased production of white blood cells. But does your body overreact, say to dust particles by giving you asthma or allergic reactions to peanuts or shrimp or certain vaccines by producing allergices that could in different people range from simple to much rarer severe anaphylactic shock?

Why do mothers with type A blood have so many more babies born with allergies to various foods or other substances in the environment?

Or if you have a blood type A mother, regardless of your own blood type, do you have more allergies to different foods? Or if you're type B blood, are you allergic to corn products? All these reactions are said to be related to your genotype. Do blood types AB and B have more difficulty in communication between the immune system and the nervous system than blood types O or A?

And do your fingerprints show a developmental road map of statistically correlated risks of anything from breast cancer (six or more fingerprint pattern whorls) to more than three arch-type fingerpring patterns linking correlated risks to frequent sluggish bowels and constipation issues? Or do eight or more ulnar loops in your fingerprint patterns warn of a higher risk or tendency to Alzheimer's or other cognitive diseases later in life?

The trouble with this pattern is that eight or more ulnar loops are also one of the ways used to identify blood type B and AB people descended from ancient nomads, which the Genotype book calls "Nomads." You could proceed to take a test to see whether you have the actual gene for Alzheimer's. But what about all the other cognitive diseases that come on later in life? Is there a diet to prevent it if you have the tendencies as reavealed by statistical correlations of your fingerprint patterns to cognitive diseases? What can you do to prevent or slow down the path of genes?

What studies were used to reveal any statistical correlations?

Check out the studies that were used to reveal statistical correlations mentioned in this book and other books. First of all, ask yourself whether genetic predisposition actually is destiny, or are there hundreds of genes that control, say your destiny to develop a certain class of diseases later in life?

It takes more than one gene or fingerprint pattern to predict your health path or lifestyle, and environment plays a role. For example, what if you lack the gene to deal with stress, but more than one gene controls how you react to stress--by raised blood pressure or other ways? That's why scientific studies continue to do research, and more statistical correlations will be ongoing.

In the meantime, the Genotype Diet book is highly recommended to find out a lot of information and a great suggested reading list so you can go further. Check out the various blood type informational websites.

Epigenetics research that looks at changes in gene expression has revealed that poverty that begins early in life could change your genes and immune system, says a new study from the University of British Columbia and Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT). Childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person’s genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response. It's childhood poverty, not poverty in adulthood shows marks or patterns left on genes.

You may want to check out some of the brief podcasts online with leading scientists from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published one study in a special volume of that looks at how experiences beginning before birth and in the years after can affect the course of a person’s life. Known as epigenetics, or the study of changes in gene expression, this research examined a process called DNA methylation where a chemical molecule is added to DNA and acts like a dimmer on a light bulb switch, turning genes on or off or setting them somewhere in between. Research has shown that a person’s life experiences play a role in shaping DNA methylation patterns. See the site, Michael Kobor on DNA methylation.

The research team discovered that childhood poverty, but not socioeconomic status as an adult, was correlated with the marks or methylation patterns left on genes. The research team discovered that childhood poverty, but not socioeconomic status as an adult, was correlated with the marks or methylation patterns left on genes.

“We found biological residue of early life poverty,” said Michael Kobor, according to an October 18, 2012 news release, "Genes and immune system shaped by childhood poverty, stress." Kobor is an associate professor of medical genetics at UBC. “This was based on clear evidence that environmental influences correlate with epigenetic patterns.” His CMMT lab at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) led the research.

Stress hormones produced by adults also was linked with variations in DNA methylation

The amount of stress hormones produced by adults also was linked with variations in DNA methylation. Like the chicken and the egg, Kobor says it is unknown whether increased stress as an adult could leave marks on DNA or whether the marks may play a role in the amount of stress hormones released.

Kobor, who is a Mowafaghian Scholar at the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), and his colleagues also found that methylation patterns were predictive of future immune responses, suggesting that early life experiences could play a role in our response to illness later in life. For more information, view the YouTube video, Michael Kobor on DNA methylation.

Also please subscribe (free) to my various nutrition, health, or cultural media columns such as the Sacramento Nutrition Examiner column, Sacramento Healthy Trends Examiner column, Sacramento Holistic Family Health Examiner, Sacramento Media & Culture Examiner column, and my national columns: Senior Health Examiner column, Children's Nutrition Examiner column, Senior Nutrition Examiner column, and National Healthy Trends Examiner column. Please check out the slideshow on Examiner.com of 50 of Hart's 91 paperback book covers.

Follow Anne Hart's various Examiner articles on nutrition, health, and culture on this Facebook site and/or this Twitter site. Also see some of Anne Hart's 91 paperback books at: iUniverse or Amazon.com. Or see the author's website. Please follow my columns on Pinterest or Pinterest Sacramento Nutrition Examiner.

For more info: browse some my books, How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009). Or see my books, How to Safely Tailor Your Foods, Medicines, & Cosmetics to Your Genes (2003) or How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007).

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